Olivia Parker
Aug 19, 2019

Coca-Cola, Uber Eats gain favour: New Zealand's top 100 brands

How do stalwart brands like Nike, Uber and Coca Cola rank in New Zealanders' affections in 2019?

Coca-Cola, Uber Eats gain favour: New Zealand's top 100 brands


There were some interesting changes in the top 10 brands New Zealand ranks as its favourites between 2018 to 2019. As expected, and as seen across most other APAC countries, Samsung and Apple remain steadfast as the top, in first and second positions. Samsung could be set to steal more of a march on Apple in the coming months: Vodafone NZ will launch 5G in December and the new Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and 10+ models support this new faster mobile network technology, while we don’t yet know when an iPhone with such support capabilities will come out.

Panasonic, another top 10 stalwart brand across the region, was also unmoved from 2018, in fourth position, but the Japanese multinational Sony managed to improve its standing by 2 spots, landing above Panasonic in third position.

In surprise fifth position is Watties, the Hastings-based food brand that was established in New Zealand in 1934, and then bought by the Heinz company in 1992. The highest brand with local heritage in this year’s list (Pak'nSave being the second highest, in 10th position), various factors could explain Watties’ climb of 10 places from 2018 to 2019, but we’re not sure it’s likely that the limited edition tomato sauce Ripple ice cream with Tip Top, released in March, comes high on the list.

The Uber Eats 'Sharkbait' campaign by Special Group

Google falls in below Watties into sixth place, a drop of three spots from last year, perhaps unsurprising given how much criticism it has faced in recent months in New Zealand (see "Brands in New Zealand pull ads from Facebook, Google following Christchurch attack"), while Visa drops one place as well, into seventh. 

Sports brands, which with their huge advertising budgets and the global trend to sport 'activewear' as regular fashion as well as while practising sport, have had a changeable time of it. New Zealand's favourite is Nike, which fell two places from 7th to 9th position; while Adidas, official makers of the All Blacks' sports gear, rose two places to 17th position. This mirrors Adidas's upwards move in the overall list of Asia's top 1000 brands, in which it rose just three places from 2018-2019, but to an important 11th rung, just four spots behind Nike in seventh. 

Another surprising move made in New Zealand’s top 100 brands 2018 includes the stellar leap up 14 places to 11th position, made by Coca-Cola. This comes even after a major faux pas the brand committed in October 2018, when it plastered the slogan “kia ora, mate”, which translates in Maori as “hello, death”, over a vending machine; and in the wake of much discussion in New Zealand about the feasibility of a sugar tax.

Just two spaces down from Coca-Cola is Uber, in 13th position, which it rose to from 17th. "It would be hard to imagine a taxi company ever making to the top 100, but Uber has changed entire categories for the better, and I think that shows in the very high placing in such a short space of time," says Tony Bradbourne, executive creative director and partner at the agency Special Group, which works for Uber. 
One highly successful campaign that may have contributed to Uber's success was 'Shark Bait' for Uber Eats, which involved transforming a car into a McDonald's filet-o-fish burger and driving it around as 'bait' in front of the 'shark' bus that famously advertises Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium. Named "one of the cleverest pieces of work that I’ve seen so far" by Adams Fan, founder and chief creative officer, F5 Shanghai, who nominated it for Campaign's Cannes Contenders list, the campaign generated almost 4 million impressions and a 28% increase in Uber Eats orders. 
Don't miss the rest of our exclusive data and special reports:

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